Swim England is bringing in new guidelines for its affiliated clubs in a bid to show they have the highest standards of safe and effective practice in place.

The Stronger Affiliation process is being introduced so new and existing members know clubs are well run and their personnel have the necessary safeguarding checks in place to ensure members’ safety.

If a club is already SwimMark accredited, then they will just need to maintain the accreditation.


For any club without SwimMark (or should a SwimMark lapse), the following six pieces of evidence need to be provided and approved by December 2020:

Club Constitution – letter approved by Swim England North West Regional Board.

Welfare Officer Statement of Compliance – mandatory signed statement of compliance by the Welfare Officer stating the club is being run in accordance with Wavepower guidelines.

Club Chair Statement of Compliance – mandatory signed statement of compliance that the club is following Swim England’s Code of Ethics and has role descriptions within the club.

Club Personnel Record – two documents are required. Use information from the Coaching and Teacher Register (i.e. information can be downloaded from the Online Membership System (OMS) to populate the coaches/teachers part of the element.

Guidance documents include OMS Guide and Common Questions and Answers.

Information for remaining club personnel should be added to the current Swim England template (or clubs own document). If the club is using their own document then all of the information required on the Swim England template must be included.

Safeguarding Certificates – provide a sample of Safeguarding certificates for key club personnel including Welfare Officer, coaches and team managers etc.


If a club provides all of the above information, then they will be compliant for Swim England changes in 2021.

Failure to meet this new minimum standard of compliance will result in a club being suspended temporarily or permanently at the beginning of 2021.


Why is Swim England introducing Stronger Affiliation?

By introducing a Stronger Affiliation process, Swim England will be able to:

  • Support clubs to ensure they are implementing the appropriate governance and meeting minimum operating standards.
  • Enhance the experience of club members.
  • Demonstrate its commitment to ensuring the safety of all affiliated clubs and members through stronger governance.
  • Provide stronger leadership for the sport.
  • Strengthen sustainability for future generations.

Align to Sport England’s direction of travel for community sport clubs.

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